No excuse for failure
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:
POVERTY IS no excuse for failure, and 28-year-old Teliff 'Peter' Hall is proving just that. This young entrepreneur has already established himself as the face of entertainment in Portland, while excelling in construction.
Born in arguably one of the most depressed communities in Portland - Snow Hill - with little or no economic activity, Hall grew up on the banks of the Rio Grande with two of his siblings, where catching fish for dinner was a daily routine.
For years, the youngsters (all boys) had things difficult, and even though their father (now deceased) operated a mini bus, their education was always under threat, and the financial difficulties which plagued the family for years derailed any real future or opportunity for the boys to excel academically.
"We were poor, but very happy. Back in the 1990s, things were tough, but my father and mother never gave up. We were kept in school, but not regularly, and we, too, had our childhood dreams. When we left school, there was basically nothing for us to do, so like most boys in the Snow Hill community, we just sat around idly. But by early 2000, Lady Luck came our way, and as it turned out, that was the opportunity we had been begging for. Our lives changed, and although we were still young and made some horrible mistakes, today, we have learnt the hard way," Hall told Rural Xpress.
As the years unfolded, the brothers stuck together and have since started their own construction (Crystal Construction Company) and entertainment company (Crystal Entertainment), headed by Hall.
While construction is still their passion, as funds are being generated from the building of retaining walls and roadways, Hall is heavily focusing on entertainment, as it is his desire to transform the parish into a place of entertainment for not only the local people, but also tourists.
Already, the lawns of Crystal Night Club (which is owned by the brothers) is growing in popularity, having hosted the recent all-island carnival.
And with at least two events per week at Crystal, including Road Block and Juggling, which attract hundreds of local people to a night of musical entertainment, Hall is hoping that in spite of the parish's tourism sector collapse, he will be able to attract people, including tourists, through entertainment.
"I buy from the farmer, shopkeeper, supermarket, and local fisherman. Road Block is an event that most people, including the parish workforce, look forward to. I operate my construction company during the day, and at night, I shift to entertainment. I am assisted by my brothers, Aubyn, Owen, and Dwayne, who are more than capable. All of my events generate employment for at least 25 local people.